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Hello friends,

Christmas is coming very soon. And you might not be too happy about it if you suffer from depression or bipolar depression. Many times, people dread the holidays, so it is not unusual at all.

When you are ill, often the last thing you want is to mix with happy people, especially if you are having trouble functioning in your life. And you know what I mean when I say it is a huge effort just to get out of bed. But even if you are able to do that, you will have to shower and get dressed in nice clothes and that can be too much when you are ill.

It would be nice if other people would understand why you cannot join in the festivities, but life isn’t like that, is it? You can tell them until you are blue in the face how you feel, but people who haven’t been there can never know what it means to be depressed so badly you just want to pull the covers over your head and shut the world out.

I lost my husband to suicide and was telling a friend only yesterday that it took me many years to get over his death and the mess he left me in when I was ill. She looked perplexed, then asked me why it took so long to get over it? I was dumbfounded and wondered how I would explain the situation to her. I knew that would be impossible. So instead, I said if she had never been in that position she would never understand what it means to have to cope. She accepted that.

And it is just the same with bipolar. “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes ….” as the saying goes. So don’t expect miracles from those around you at Christmas. Do everything at your own pace and if you have to go out, make sure you leave after two hours. You will need to regroup after that.

I hope you have a nice Christmas, but if you find you cannot join in the festivities, don’t be shy. Tell people you feel ill and would make everybody else feel miserable if you were around. It is not much of an excuse, but may suffice.